A pledge, initially signed by the Leaders of the three political parties at Caerphilly County Borough Council, to take a zero tolerance stance against abuse has been adapted and rolled out across Wales.
“Unfortunately, in Caerphilly county borough, we noted an increasing number of councillors and candidates being subjected to abuse, threats and intimidation” said Cllr Philippa Marsden, Leader of Council. ”As a result, a joint statement was released in January from the Leaders of the Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Independent groups to clearly set out our position.”
At Friday’s Welsh Local Government Association Executive Board, all 22 council leaders in Wales agreed to make a similar joint statement calling on all councillors and candidates at May’s local elections to commit to a fair and respectful election campaign.
Caerphilly’s statement read:
As well as being totally unacceptable, the abusive behaviour undermined the principles of free speech, democratic engagement and debate.
We, at Caerphilly Council, endeavour to treat everyone with courtesy, kindness and respect and, as Leaders of our respective political groups, we stood together to call for an end to abuse, intimidation and harassment of any kind.
This is particularly relevant as we enter the key period in the run up to the local government elections in May.
Cllr Philippa Marsden, Leader of Caerphilly Council commented, “It is great to see that Caerphilly Council are leading the way in respects to an anti-abuse approach to councillors and election candidates.
“There is no place for abuse of any kind in our county borough and everyone deserves the right to live without fear of abuse. I am thrilled to see that our statement is now being rolled out across the whole of Wales; hopefully it will put an end to the unacceptable treatment that councillors receive on a regular basis.”